WILMINGTON, MA — The Boston Metro Hi-Railers model train club will host its holiday season open house on Saturday, December 8, from 10am to 4pm, at 5 Waltham Street in Wilmington. Admission costs $10 for families and $5 for individuals. Children under 10 are FREE.
The open house will feature attractions for families, train enthusiasts and hobbyists alike. The three children’s layouts allow boys and girls of all sizes to have a hands on experience running trains, operating trackside accessories or just watching others.
The open house will offer a few updates to the layout club members have been working on over the last several months. The most recent progress has been on the train station modeled after the Union Station at Troy, N.Y.
Opened in 1900, Troy finally got a “modern” looking station after three previous buildings were built and then replaced on the same site. The last depot was designed by Reed & Stem, who eventually worked on Grand Central Terminal. The Troy station pioneered individual train platform sheds reached by an underground passageway instead of one huge shed. This fourth station was a colonial revival design with Beaux Arts columns and decorated by Grecian castings. The station was 400 feet, and the passenger tracks weren’t much longer. Most trains blocked grade crossings at each end of the station. By 1910, there were 130 passenger trains a day stopping at this busy depot and eventually three railroads came to dominate the traffic at this passenger station: the Delaware and Hudson RR, the New York Central RR and the Boston & Maine RR. As passenger traffic declined in the 1950′s the demolition of Troy Union Station became inevitable and after the last passenger service left town in January of 1958 the station was demolished early the following year.
Another featured structure is the curved trestle being built in a corner of the train room, but destined to span the gorge near the “bubble” at one end of the layout. A trestle bridge is composed of several short spans supported by such frames.
Timber and iron “trestles” (trestle bridges) were extensively used in the early days of railroading, with timber trestle making up from 1 percent to 3 percent of the total length of the average railroad in that era. Many timber trestles were built with the expectation that they would be temporary.
Timber trestles remain common in some applications, most notably for bridge approaches crossing floodways, where earth fill would dangerously obstruct floodwater.
A familiar scene to past attendees is the club’s depiction of Scranton, Penn., in the era of steam locomotives giving way to diesel powered engines. Scranton is the geographic and cultural center of the Lackawanna River valley, and the largest of the former anthracite coal mining communities that also includes Wilkes-Barre, Pittston, and Carbondale. The city took its first step toward earning its reputation as the Electric City when electric lights were introduced in 1880 at Dickson Locomotive Works. Six years later, the nation’s first streetcars powered exclusively by electricity began operating in the city.
The Boston Metro Hi-Railers are a social group and take part in outings to railroad related points of interest apart from our train room on Waltham Street. We have visited a master modeler in Peabody who has created a large cityscape in HO scale, the Waushakum Live Steamers and ridden on their adult carrying cars and travelled to Maine to visit the Seashore Trolley Museum, the world’s oldest and largest museum of its kind.
For more information, visit http://www.bmhrc.com.
(NOTE: The above announcement is from the Boston Metro Hi-Railers.)
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